Sir David Jason was among familiar faces in the star-studded line-up for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations at the Royal Windsor Horse Show on Sunday night. The comedian joined the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Mo Farah for a theatrical performance marking the Queen’s monumental milestone. Viewers were whisked through royal history by a cast of 1,300 performers and 500 horses, and on Sunday, the monarch was the guest of honour.
Sir David spoke about what the Queen means to him, saying: “[The Queen] is the sort of standard of what Great Britain stands for.
“To take on the responsibility that was handed to her on her father’s death was tremendous.
“How many people that age do you know that could do anywhere near what was expected of her.
“She showed such metal…a wonderful woman.”
While David Jason had not performed in front of the Queen before, he had met the monarch.
David is best known for his starring role in Only Fools and Horses. (Image: Don Smith/Radio Times/Getty Images)
The actor was knighted by Her Majesty for services to acting and comedy in 2005.
However, speaking to Gold’s James Bassam last year, he said he was proud to be honoured with the accolade, but explained why it was something of a “disappointment”.
He said: “It was a very, very special and unbelievable day because not many people get that close to the Royal Family, and the Queen, particularly.
“She’s the sort of person that you see all the time on television and in newspapers and all of this, and then to actually see Her Majesty, it’s really quite exciting and moving.”
He added: “The only slight disappointment that I felt about the whole thing because the expectancy is so high when you’ve read about things like the knights of the round table, Sir Galahad, King Arthur and his knights, that you often read about someone being knighted and you expect that when she places the sword upon your shoulders she says, ‘You go on your knees as David Jason and you arise as Sir David Jason.’
82-year-old Jason is a veteran in the industry. (Image: Samir Hussein/WireImage)
David was knighted by the Queen in 2005. (Image: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images)
“And the sword is placed on either of your shoulders, ‘Arise, Sir David Jason.’ And that is the moment of extreme pleasure and the biggest and best thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life.
“But unfortunately, I was expecting this and I’m there on one knee, pausing as the Queen takes her sword up and goes ‘dum dum’. ‘Right, there you are.’
“And I was, ‘Where’s the bit about ‘Arise Sir David’ and all that?’, and that didn’t come, so I was disappointed!”
Despite his expectations of knighthood not being met, David has remained a supporter of the Queen and the Royal Family.
Despite experiencing ‘disappointment’, David was proud and honoured to receive the accolade. (Image: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/PA Images)
Queen made a surprise appearance at the horse show on Friday. (Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
In March, he joined the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative which aims to increase and protect the native tree cover, and provides a sustainable way to celebrate the monarch.
People are encouraged to create this “special gift” for the Queen to mark her 70 years on the throne and David, who lives in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, planted a cherry tree in Aylesbury.
He told The Bucks Herald at the time: “As a long-term local resident, it was a pleasure to be invited to plant a tree in Bucks to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year. I hope that ‘my’ cherry tree will flourish and be enjoyed by future generations.”
“All over the country tree planting is being championed and the best thing about this initiative is that everybody can take part, it is that inclusivity that has such great strength.
“By planting a tree and creating a lasting legacy we will be able to remember for generations the Queen’s extraordinary reign.”
The Royal Windsor Horse Show kicked off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but the nationwide festivities are yet to come.
A four-day weekend at the beginning of June will mark the official Jubilee celebrations.
Starting with the Queen’s annual birthday parade — Trooping the Colour — and the iconic balcony scene, events will include a Service of Thanksgiving for the monarch and her reign, the Royal Derby at Epsom Downs and Platinum Party at the Palace, a concert held at Buckingham Palace.
Whether the Queen will attend each event will be confirmed on the day in question; it is expected that her appearances will be limited to the Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour and the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.